The season finale for Westworld aired yesterday, delivering the jaw-dropping type of events one comes to expect from an HBO show. During the ten episode run, many parallels were drawn between the show’s universe and gaming. These parallels really screwed with my brain. I’d sit down for a session of Elder Scrolls Online and go beyond simple killing of NPCs for EXP to an existential meaning of those actions. At the risk of oversimplification, Westworld is about lifelike robots, how humans treat them as lifeless beings, and what defines life. I really enjoyed the season, so if you’re on the fence I do recommend watching it. From here on out, there will be spoilers for Westworld season 1. If you want to avoid spoilers, bookmark this article and come
While playing a brief, uninspired spell of Skyrim, my mind began to wander. Skyrim was failing to hold my attention once again. Yet it’s brother, Elder Scrolls Online, didn’t have the same failings. And this wasn’t due to friends playing the Tamrielian MMORPG with me. I’ve had plenty of fun playing Elder Scrolls Online by my lonesome. The only times I’ve really managed that with Skyrim lately has been thanks to the mod scene. Then the realization hit me. ESO might just be a better single player RPG than Skyrim. Taking out the interaction with real people, which one plays better?
Skyrim’s base combat is pretty awful. It’s disappointing that this aspect of the series… Continue reading
Death is just a part of life when you’re living in a MMO world. You, as the player, are constantly seeking out new enemies to overcome and defeat. Those same enemies are looking to turn the table on you. Most of the time you will be victorious. But occasionally a challenge will be too difficult and the encounter will end with character’s lifeless body slumped over.
What happens next depends on the MMORPG. Some developers view death as a minor speed bump on the way to progressing your power. Others believe that death should be a huge deterrent from poor play or overeager exploration. There… Continue reading
It’s truly amazing the amount of resources that developers devote to PvE only for it to be a generic time waster. Even the big MMORPG releases in Blade & Soul and Black Desert Online aren’t bucking the trend. We create a new character, giddy for a new world to explore. That world turns out to be full of quests. Quests to exterminate local monsters and deliver goods to nearby farmers. These quests get pretty repetitive. After all, such quests and monsters exist solely to bridge the gap between new character status and max level. It’s pretty rare that the content that gets us to max level compares to that of a single player game. Really, we’re just wasting our time on low quality content until we ding max level and… Continue reading
The Witcher III: Wild Hunt and The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim are both hugely popular fantasy RPGs with massive, detailed game worlds, but there are some key differences between them. Notably, their non-player characters are very different beasts, with Skyrim’s NPCs being mostly shallow and uninteresting, mere wall-dressing for the player’s journey, whereas The Witcher gives depth and meaningful personality for its NPCs, whether they’re part of the main quest or a minor side quest.
For example, in Witcher III we are introduced to the Bloody Baron. Warning! Character spoilers ahead (though I’m doing my best to keep out anything really important)…
When first meeting this Bloody Baron, he comes across a generic abusive… Continue reading